“You are the average of five people you spend the most time with.” ~ Jim Rohn
Dad thought it was funny that I caught all three of us in the photo. We were waiting with mom for her endoscopy. “But wait,” you say, “I thought she broke her pelvis?” Why, yes, she did, but I believe I mentioned complications. I’m happy to report that the scope returned good results and now we’re on to solving the next complication. Meanwhile, surgery still hasn’t been ruled out and I think dad is enjoying staying with his sister Lois Nell. She’s got him playing cards and board games, and tomorrow, she’s going to put him to work spreading mulch. He’s looking forward to it, too. Mom was stable enough for me to finally leave, so I get to sleep at home tonight. I will not miss the recliner-that-makes-a-bed. I’m here to tell ya, no, it does not. A bed makes a bed and I’m headed for one right now.
“[Say] ‘What can I do today, not what I can’t.'” ~ Nancy Vickers
Thanks to each and every one who have sent well wishes for Shero by whatever means you sent them. Today’s update: Surgery still hasn’t been ruled out for a few reasons and we continue to be in limbo. Meanwhile, Shero continues to do her part to be an exceptional patient, doing everything she’s asked in order to get better, and being in generally good humor (the pain killers help with that). What’s clear is that, with out without surgery, the recovery time for a broken pelvis is quite long and requires extensive PT. What’s also clear is that Hero and Shero are as connected as any two people I’ve ever known. They’re inspiring for so many reasons, not the least of which is what true love can endure. They’re so sweet together.
“Joy does not come from what you do, it flows into what you do and thus into this world from deep within you.” ~ Eckhart Tolle
The Stacys (minus Travis here) have treated dad like family for as long as I can remember, even before he started working at CK’s bank. Mom and Vicki worked together at the welfare office when I was a child. I’ve probably told this story before, but I’m going to tell it again. One of my most vivid memories is Vicki stopping by Mamaw’s one afternoon just after she’d come home from the hospital with Jodi. I was nine or ten years old. Mom went to the car to talk with her and I followed. There was tiny, tiny Jodi all wrapped up in baby blankets with her signature white tuft of hair. Vicki has always smiled, but her smile that day was different than I’ve ever seen it before or since. She was so in love with Jodi. We fell in love with Jodi that day, too. Now here we all are nearly forty-five years later and there’s still love and respect, Vicki’s sweet smile, and the whole Stacy clan flocking to mom and dad. Warms my heart so much.
“Courage is knowing it might hurt, and doing it anyway. Stupidity is the same. That’s why life is hard.” ~ Jeremy Goldberg
This is one of the best pictures I’ve ever seen of my mother. It’s hard to catch her being natural, but catch her I did when we stopped yesterday to photograph the covered bridge. She was enamored with the gorgeous purple wildflowers growing near the road. By the time I got to her, she was trying to pull a bunch up by the roots to replant them at home. She thought better of it when they didn’t pull up with ease. They quickly turn to be a lot more trouble than they were worth. (If anyone knows what they are, tell me!) Even without the flowers we had a great Mother’s Day weekend.
The whole day was such a great time. We all slept late, then took to the roads for nearly eight hours. We ended our day by celebrating all-in-one Janet’s birthday (Monday the 13th) and Mother’s Day (today). She loves anything with peanut butter, so we snagged an incredible peanut butter pie from the Amish Store in Flemingsburg. The four of us ate the entire pie! It was a 9″ pie mind you. Despite how Janet looks in the pictures, she really did have a great time. She’s gotten so she doesn’t like the camera. Really, she never did, though she has humored me a great deal over the decades. One advantage to aging is that you no longer feel compelled to humor anyone, not even your niece. Meanwhile, Dad has taken to photo-bombing as he’s aged (see below). We ended our night by attending church service with Janet. Local preachers take turn about holding service every night for the residents, and we finished our pie just in time to join in. It was a… spirited service. We left feeling thankful to enjoy one another’s company for another Mother’s Day/Birthday celebration, and it’s always a blessing to spend time with Janet.
“A tree is known by its fruit; a man by his deeds. A good deed is never lost; he who sows courtesy reaps friendship, and he who plants kindness gathers love.” ~ Saint Basil
We had a big time tonight. UK offered seats at an okay rate to its employees, so I got three. They were nose bleed seats; so high in Rupp Arena that Mom and I both had a hard time with vertigo. Nevertheless, we had a blast. It was mom’s first UK Wildcat game at Rupp. Dad used to go when he was a younger man. Tonight, instead, he periodically reminded us that you can see the game better on TV. This he repeated in between his chanting “Go Big Blue” and “BOO,” which was said a lot during this game. Mom said going in that they’d lose because she was going. She was right. An LSU buzzer shot, despite goal tending, lost us the game. Still, we had a great time, crappy seats and all.
“What we have to be is what we are.” ~ Thomas Merton
Yesterday was Groundhog Day. It was also Hero and Shero’s 56th wedding anniversary. Today, we met for a delicious brunch. Dad liked telling the waitress that this was their one year anniversary. We all laughed, because it was such an obvious lie, as if the twinkle in his eye didn’t give it away on its own. We saw a lot of people we knew so we had great visits with all of them and with each other. The weather was stunningly perfect, too. Don’t they look good? They’ve had a bad couple of years of late, but they’ve both been feeling pretty good recently. Winter months can be hard for the older generations, especially if they’re prone to illness, but these two have weathered the cold exceptionally well. I, for one, am exceedingly grateful to celebrate them once more. They give me hope that one day my hair will be a beautiful white, too.
“Life gives us choices… you either grab on with both hands and just go for it, or you sit on the sidelines.” ~ Christine Feehan
Sometimes Christmas doesn’t happen on Christmas Day. Today was just such an occasion. Aunt Lois came for dad at 10am. They went off for a day of Christmas services at church, dinners, fellowship, and more. Meanwhile, Mom and I also set out on a day-long adventure that ended with the Nutcracker performed by the Cincinnati Ballet in newly renovated Music Hall. Mom had never seen the Nutcracker before, and neither of us had been inside Music Hall. It was an absolutely perfect day start to finish. Christmas, I am reminded, is not about gifts, no matter how much our capitalist society would have you believe otherwise. Christmas is about this. Take joy in your loved ones and go have adventures as much as you are able.
“Sometimes on the way to a dream you get lost and find a better one.” ~ Unknown
We all had such a good time yesterday that I caught not one, not two, but three smiles from Tony Adkins. He’s the sweetest man ever was, but he rarely smiles even when he’s super happy. So, when I caught the first smile I thought it was an anomaly. It wasn’t. Tony was smiling throughout the day. That just tickled me to death because I love him very much and want him to be happy. I’m sure to catch more smiles as the years roll on.
“Never underestimate the power of kind words” ~ Unknown
We had our fall family gathering today at Uncle Harold and Aunt Phyllis’ farm in Morgan County (that’s Eastern Kentucky for those unfamiliar). Fall’s brisk weather finally swooped in and made the day crisp and overcast. Perfection. We ate hearty foods, drank hot coffee, had our annual hay ride, shared birthday cake for Dad and Aunt Linda, and told ghost stories. In fact, that may have been the most fun of the day, sitting in a room surrounded by the elders telling stories of visitations and haints galore; the fantastic and the believable. There was something very, very different about this gathering from the others we’ve had. I sensed a calm in the air. The bittersweet thirst for those no longer with us while reveling in their memories in unadulterated happiness. Perhaps Cousin Brian was on to something during the hayride. “We are the age our parents were when we went on hayrides,” he said as we sat sandwiched between first and third generation Terrys. It happens to every generation in every family, in slow, often imperceptible ways until one day Cousin Brian sees the culmination of time in a single moment. The realization that the changing of the guard is fully underway. This is just one blessing of this family; to have sustained multiple relationships over decades that can come together and celebrate goodness. To be truly grateful for the gifts in spite of the sadness, to me, is a mark of great faith. That is something this family has in spades.